Monthly Archives: May 2014

Film Review: God Loves Uganda

God Loves Uganda Cover

God Loves Uganda — a faulty premise that neglects important details and falls for grandiose stereotyping.

This documentary film by the acclaimed director Roger Ross Williams is a story about the complex mix of homosexuality, faith and politics in Uganda. He sees it as religious fanaticism stoking the flames of hatred and forcefully blames the influence of American evangelicals as the root cause of Ugandan homophobia.

His documentary thesis is supported by filming a devoted group of followers, and highlighting one of their former leaders, Lou Engle, from the International House of Prayer — an unaffiliated charismatic community located in Kansas City.

John Stackhouse, who holds the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Chair of Theology and Culture at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C., reviewed the film for Christianity Today and wrote:

Some people, alas, will be tempted to channel their outrage into hating evangelicals right here at home, those frightening people who are trying to wreck Africa and who, if they only could, would criminalize homosexuality here, too, and even kill unrepentant homosexuals. Such seems to be the unsubtle subtext of the film. More moderate evangelicals need to say, and say clearly, that to identify Scott Lively or Lou Engle as a typical American evangelical is like suggesting that Osama bin Laden was a typical Muslim or, closer to home, like suggesting that all homosexuals are like the most outlandish figures in Gay Pride Parades. We must speak up in public and both denounce and distance ourselves from such extremists, rather than muzzle ourselves in misguided charity for errant brothers and sisters, or we will see the gospel increasingly attacked as homophobic in just the way these people are.

…Yes, homophobia is bad. But so is evangelophobia. And what might have seemed just a decade ago to be a ridiculous and paranoid parallel doesn’t seem so now.

Stackhouse’s claim of evangelophobia has generated considerable buzz and I think he is right in this assessment.

The documentary succeeds at evoking immediate anger against evangelical christians and reinforces the stereotype of them being weird, racist, white bigots who are attempting to force their brand of truth throughout the world regardless of any human consequence.

It thrives by sweeping all evangelical christians under the same category of having a homophobic agenda. In reality, the evangelical movement is split over the topic of faith and homosexuality. This movie in no way represents this spectrum and neither is there any attempt to demonstrate that the International House of Prayer is considered a sect outside of mainstream evangelicalism. Williams selected it because it fit his premise.

It is a movie not only about Uganda, faith and homosexuality, it is also a journey for Williams to make sense of himself as a gay person who grew up in an American religious home. This should have been stated somewhere in the movie about why he was personally motivated to cover such a topic. It would give the viewer important context.

The film touches on an important subject that is becoming a genre. It is that of charismatic extremism. This can also be found in the controversial movies Machine Gun Preacher, and the The Jesus Camp where they are about independent and pioneer charismatic leaders doing their own thing with little training or external accountability. Williams has grouped IHOP as evangelical and pentecostal while it is actually charismatic – an important nuance neglected in his coverage.

Charismatic churches are hard to define and has been a subject of debate for over a decade. They are typically independent bodies that have split from a mainstream denominational evangelical church over the doctrines relating to the christian mystical experience. Many of these churches have little or no external accountability, tend to rely more on personal revelation and divine encounters which do not necessarily have to be rational. This movement is much smaller than its pentecostal counterpart, but it is highly emotive and vocal This form of mystic extremism can be very damaging for the christian movement as a whole and has to be urgently called into account.

IHOP and its brand of faith do not represent any pentecostal organized constituency which has a much larger member base. Neither am I aware of any mainline pentecostal North American organization promoting a homophobic agenda. If that was the case, then Williams would have filmed a historical masterpiece of immense value.

The film also fails to take into account that homophobia is a part of the Ugandan and African social tapestry. Same-sex relations are illegal in 36 of Africa’s 55 countries, according to Amnesty International, and punishable by death in some states. according a Guardian.com article written by David Smith. This is a huge oversight by the Film and seriously erodes the argument of American evangelical influence interfering with Ugandan politics and being responsible for increasing homophobia in Uganda.

God Loves Uganda starts with an important survey of homophobia in Uganda but denigrates into a poor stereotype of Christians. He took the easy-way-out on a very difficult topic and oversimplified the causes. Because of this, I would rank this movie a 4 out of 10.

In Search of Utopia

Burabod shoreline

Discovering what utopia means in one of the most unlikely places — a remote island in the central Philippines.

The 1982 New Year’s Eve festivity was well under preparation for the young people on a small barangay beside the city of Biliran called Burabod. The teenagers and a few young adults have dressed up for the occasion — or at least prettied what little clothing they had.

The sun was setting and it gave its effervescent goodbye across the oceanic horizon. It festooned a copper tinge above the treeline giving way to a striking blue background of the sky. The waves skipped happily, dotting occasional white blotches as they moved toward shore. The water lightly touched at Burabod’s seawall which stilted up high and ended where the basketball court started. A kerosene lamp was set-up on a pole in the middle of the court. An old vinyl record player was off to the right attached crudely to a car battery. There were only two or three records available and the songs were played over and over. The sound equipment bellowed above the capacity that the speakers could handle. The skips, cracking and feedback emitted were distracting. No one cared about this except me.

The sun quickly disappeared and the darkness set in. The kerosene lamp could only make outlines of the bodies moving around the lamppost. As the dancers danced, all that could be seen was the white gleam of their teeth from their wide smiles.

These smiles were from people whose homes were made with some basic wood frames while others were of twisted concoctions of leaves, rope and bamboo. Often the house-floors were just trampled sod and the living quarters were frequently shared with their pigs, chickens and dogs. They had no electricity, no water or indoor plumbing. One had to walk a distance to one of three community taps — an amount for a whole community which is typically the minimum for a Canadian house consisting of three or four people. These dancers had little to bank on for the future — opportunities for success or moving up the economic ladder were like winning a lottery. There were few, if any, old people in this small town because little were lucky to live that long.

The smiles gave me a certain existential crisis. The level of poverty would have devastated the bravest Canadian into silence. Yet these Filipinos defied the poor stereotype. Yes, they knew they were economically poor, but it didn’t break their spirit.

The answer was found in their spirit of community — they said we instead of I. Their whole life centered around using the plural instead of the singular and this transcended the great challenges confronting their lives.

I didn’t believe the power of this at first and searched Burabod for the same ubiquitous sadness that seems to pervade so many of my hometown places in the lower mainland of Vancouver, B.C., but rarely could find it. It caused yet more consternation. How could these people be happy when they had nothing and in my world, where everyone had almost everything, were not?

This experience profoundly effected me. It made me realize that happiness is difficult, even unachievable, when pursued in the singular. A significant part of belonging and being loved can only begin in the plural, and when this utopia is achieved, the environment does not dictate as loudly, and at times, doesn’t matter at all. ■

This article is dedicated to Nanay and the late Tatay de la Rosa, who so warmly took me into their Barangay Burabod home for four months in 1981.

Charles Parham on Speaking in Tongues

Charles F. Parham

Discovering what speaking-in-tongues meant to Charles F. Parham.

Charles Fox Parham was a self-appointed itinerant/evangelist in the early 1900s who had an enormous early contribution to the modern tongues movement. It was his teaching and missional emphasis that encouraged a number of his followers, especially Lucy Farrow, and later William Seymour to go to California and be major patrons in the Azusa Street Revival — a movement that is considered the public symbol for the pentecostal message being spread throughout the world.

Parham is both a controversial and complex figure that goes far beyond his codifying speaking-in-tongues within the holiness movement. This article focuses on what Parham believed the miracle of tongues to be; was it a foreign language, a heavenly one, ecstatic, or a combination?

It is not the goal of this writing to discern whether his perception was true or not, rather, it is simply to ascertain what he believed.

Neither does this investigation want to revisit the historical contribution of Parham’s Apostolic Faith Movement. This has already been well documented.

It is not hard to find his position both experientially and theologically on the subject – he believed it to be the miraculous endowment of speaking in a foreign language unknown beforehand by the speaker for evangelistic/missionary purposes.

The idea of it being foreign languages was clearly made by his wife, Sarah Parham, in her published biography, The Life of Charles F. Parham: the Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement.(1)Mrs. Charles F. Parham. The Life of Charles F. Parham: the Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement. Fourth Printing. 2000. Baxter Springs. Kansas. 1930. Many thanks to Dean Furlong for alerting me about this book and its particular contents. Of course, it is entirely valid to recognize any biography produced by a relative will have an implicit bias, which this book contains but on the case of defining his concept about speaking-in-tongues, it can be held as source material.

It is hard to discuss speaking-in-tongues without first addressing the emerging doctrine called the Baptism of the Spirit in relation to Parham. However, this is outside the scope of this article or the Gift of Tongues Project but some acknowledgment must be given. Reference to this new doctrine is made from Sarah Parham’s book where she wrote:

On Mr. Parham’s return to the school with his friends, he asked the students whether they had found any Bible evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The answer was, unanimous, “speaking in other tongues.”

Services were held daily and each night. There was a hallowed hush over the entire building. All felt the influence of a mighty presence in our midst. Without any special direction, all moved in harmony. I remember Mrs. Parham saying, “Such a spirit of unity prevails that even the children are at peace, while the very air filled with expectancy. Truly He is with us, and has something more wonderful for us than we have known before.”

The service on New Year’s night was especially spiritual and each heart was filled with the hunger for the will of God to be done in them. One of the students, a lady who had been in several other Bible Schools, asked Mr. Parham, to lay hands upon her that she might receive the Holy Spirit. As he prayed, her face lighted up with the glory of God and she began to speak with “other tongues”. She afterward told us she had received a few words while in the Prayer Tower, but now her English was taken from her and with floods of joy and laughter she praised God in other languages.

There was very little sleeping among any of us that night. The next day still being unable to speak English, she wrote on a piece of paper, “Pray that I may interpret.” [Pg. 60-61]

In reference to speaking-in-tongues as a miraculous endowment of a foreign language, there are many references that suggest this was their belief. Here a few examples:

  • On one occasion a Hebrew Rabbi was present as one of the students, a young married man, read the lesson from the Bible. After services he asked for the Bible from which the lesson was read. The Bible was handed him, and he said, “No not that one, I want to see the Hebrew Bible. That man read in the Hebrew tongue.”

    At another time while Mr. Parham was preaching he used another language for some time during the sermon. At the close a man arose and said, “I am healed of my infidelity; I have heard in my own tongue the 23rd Psalm that I learned at my mother’s knee. [Pg. 62]

  • During the wonderful altar service, the audience, having been previously dismissed, moved quietly and informally about, hearing and witnessing the marvelous demonstrations of the power promised to believers. Sometimes as many as twenty various languages were spoken in one evening, not an unintelligent utterance of mere vocal sounds, but a clear language spoken with the intonations and accents only given by natives, who repeatedly gave testimony to that effect.

    It was my privilege to be frequently in concourse with some professors from the city schools and colleges, all of whom spoke some foreign language and one of them spoke five languages. He said to im the most marvelous thing about the use of these languages was the original accent they (the workers) gave. They demonstrated that under instruction, it was impossible for an American to learn. They gave the REAL FOREIGN ACCENT SO PERFECTLY, that when he closed his eyes, it seemed to him as though he were listening to utterances from his native masters in the Old World.

    To me this was very convincing, coming from those unbiased and competent judges. They oftimes interpreted for me when languages they knew were spoken. Many foreigners came to the meetings and were frequently spoken to in their native tongue, with the original accent that could not be perfectly acquired. This, more than anything else, convinced them that it was wrought by some power above the human. Their hearts were always touched and they frequently went to the altar for prayer, convinced that it was the real power of God. [116-117]

A persistent theme in this book was that speaking-in-tongues was not gibberish — a tome directly aimed at what Parham accused the Azusa Street Revival of doing:

I hurried to Los Angeles, and to my utter surprise and astonishment I found conditions even worse than I had anticipated. Brother Seymour had come to me helpless, he said he could not stem the tide that had arisen. I sat on the platform in Azusa Street Mission, and saw the manifestations of the flesh, spiritualistic controls, saw people practicing hypnotism at the altar over candidates seeking baptism; though many were receiving the real baptism of the Holy Ghost.

After preaching two or three times, I was informed by two of the elders, one who was a hypnotist (I had seen him lay his hands on many who came through chattering, jabbering and sputtering, speaking in no language at all) that I was not wanted in that place. [Pg. 163]

It has been previously documented in the Gift of Tongues Project that the leaders and the official newspaper of the Azusa Street Revival viewed speaking-in-tongues as the miraculous endowment of a foreign language. Parham was introduced to Azusa as Seymour’s spiritual father. It wasn’t very long before he fell out of favour with Azusa. Some may think it was his segregation or perhaps supremacist views. Perhaps it was an internal leadership problem or their style of worship. We may never know exactly what the reasons were. He must have been personally demoralized and that his assessment of the practices of Azusa, whether true or not, was an effort to regain his lost stature.

It is clear that speaking-in-tongues as ecstasy, prayer or heavenly language were not part of Parham’s religious vocabulary. He certainly believed it was the miraculous spontaneous utterance of a language unknown beforehand by the speaker for evangelistic or missionary purposes. Parham would have vehemently disagreed with Wikipedia’s description that he “associated glossolalia with the baptism in the Holy Spirit”, because he felt it was known human languages, not glossolalia, which implies something psychological or non-human speech.■

For more information:

References   [ + ]

John of Damascus on Tongues: The Greek Text

The following are snippets from John of Damascus’ Commentary of I Corinthians as it relates to the doctrine of tongues. This is the actual Greek text. John of Damascus lived from 676 to a little after 750 AD.

The digitized edition attempts to follow the formatting supplied by Migne Patrologia Graeca. MPG has Biblical citations italicized but italic in digitized Polytonic Greek is difficult to read so bolded text is utilized instead. Verse numbers do not exist in the actual copy but is placed for convenience.

A portion from S. Joannis Damasceni. In Epist. ad Corinth. I. XIII. MPG Vol. 95 Col. 676

This paragraph relates to John’s coverage of Paul’s reference to the tongues of men and angels in I Corinthians 13.

« Ἐὰν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀνθρώπων λαλῶ καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, γέγονα χαλκὸς ἠχῶν ἢ κύμβαλον ἀλαλάζον. Καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω προφητείαν, καὶ ἴδω τὰ μυστήρια ἅπαντα, καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν, καὶ ἐὰν ἔχω πᾶσαν τὴν πίστιν, ὥστε ὄρη μεθιστάνειν, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐθέν εἰμι. Κἂν ψωμίσω πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντά μου, κἂν παραδῶ τὸ σῶμά μου, ἵνα καυθήσωμαι, ἀγάπην δὲ μὴ ἔχω, οὐδὲν ὠφελοῦμαι. »

Τοῦτο εἰπὼν, ᾐνίξατο αἰτίους ὄντας τοῦ τὰ ἐλάσσονα λαμβάνειν, καὶ κυρίους, εἰ βούλοιντο, τοῦ τὰ μείζονα. Ἔστι δὲ πολὺ μείζων ἡ ἀγάπη πάντων τῶν χαρισμάτων. Κατασκευάζει δὲ τοῦτο καὶ τὴν σύγκρισιν δεικνὺς, ὡς πάντα τὰ ἄλλα χαρίσματα οὐδέν ἐστι τῆς ἀγάπης ἀπούσης. Ὅρα δὲ πῶς αὐτὸ κατασκευάζει. Οὐ γὰρ εἶπεν, Ἐὰν ἴδω γλώσσας, ἀλλ’ Ἐὰν ταῖς γλώσσαις τῶν ἀγγέλων λαλῶ. Καὶ οὐκ εἶπεν ἁπλῶς, Ἐὰν προφητεύω, ἀλλ’ Ἐὰν ἴδω τὰ μυστήρια πάντα καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γνῶσιν, μετὰ ἐπιτάσεως. Καὶ οὐκ εἶπε, Δῶ τὰ ὑπάρχοντα, ἀλλὰ ψωμίσω, ἵνα πρὸς τῇ δαπάνῃ καὶ διακονία προσῇ. Πάντα οὖν μετ’ ἐπιτάσεως δείξας, δείκνυσι πολὺ ἥττονα τῆς ἀγάπης. Ὥστε εἰ μεγάλων χαρισμάτων ἐρᾶτε, τὴν ἀγάπην ἐπιτηδεύετε, φησί.

Εἰκότως μείζων τῶν χαρισμάτων ἡ ἀγάπη· εἴ γε ταῦτα μὲν διέσχισαν, αὕτη δὲ ἑνοῖτοὺς διαστάντας.

Ὅρα πόθεν ἄρχεται, ἀπὸ τοῦ μεγάλου δοκοῦντος παρ’ αὐτοῖς τοῦτῶν γλωσσῶν, καὶ οὐ μόνον τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων. Γλῶτταν δὲ ἀγγέλων ἐνταῦθα, οὐχὶ σῶμα περιθεὶς ἀγγέλοις. Ἀλλ’ ὃ λέγει τοιοῦτόν ἐστι· Κἂν οὕτω φθέγγωμαι, ὡς νόμος ἀγγέλοις πρὸς ἀλλήλους διαλέγεσθαι. Ὡς ὅταν λέγῃ, ὅτι Αὐτῷ κάμψει πᾶν γόνυ ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγείων καὶ καταχθονίων, οὐ γόνατα καὶ ὀστᾶ περιτιθεὶς τοῖς ἀγγέλοις ταῦτα λέγει, ἀλλὰ τὴν ἐπιτεταμένην προσκύνησιν διὰ τοῦ παρ’ ἡμῖν σχήματος αἰνίξασθαι βούλεται. Οὕτω καὶ ἐνταῦθα γλῶσσαν ἐκάλεσε, τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους αὐτῶν ὁμιλίαν τῷ γνωρίμῳ παρ’ ἡμῖν τρόπῳ ἐνδείξασθαι βουλόμενος.

S. Joannis Damasceni. In Epist. ad Corinth. I. XIV:1-34a. MPG Vol. 95 Col. 680 ff.

The following is a commentary on the mysterious and controversial tongues passage written by Paul; I Corinthians 14:1-34a.

[v1] « Διώκετε τῆν ἀγάπην. »

Καὶ γὰρ δρόμου σφόδρα ἡμῖν εἰς αὐτὴν χρεία.

« Ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικὰ, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύτητε. »

Ἵνα μή τις νομίζῃ, ὅτι διὰ τοῦτο τὸν τῆς ἀγάπης εἰσήγαγεν λόγον, ἵνα σβέσῃ τὰ χαρίσματα, τούτου χάριν ἐπήγαγε, λέγων· Ζηλοῦτε τὰ πνευματικά· σύγκρισιν δὲ ποιεῖται τῶν χαρισμάτων, καὶ καθαιρεῖ τὸ τῶν γλωσσῶν, οὔτε πάντη ἄχρηστον, οὔτε σφόδρα ὠφέλιμον καθ’ ἐαυτὸ δεικνὺς.

[v2-4] « Ὁ γὰρ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ, οὐκ ἀνθρώποις λαλεῖ, ἀλλὰ τῷ Θεῷ· οὐδεὶς γάρ ἀκούει · πνεύματι δὲ λαλεῖ μυστήρια. Ὁ δὲ προφητεύων, ἀνθῥώποις λαλεῖ οἰκοδομὴν καὶ παράκλησιν καὶ παραμυθίαν. Ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ, ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ· ὁ δὲ προφητεύων, Ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομεῖ. »

Τὸ μὲν λαλεῖν τῷ θεῷ, μέγα δείκνυσιν, τὸ δὲ μὴ οἰκοδομεῖσθαι τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν, μικρόν. Τοῦτο γὰρ πανταχοῦ ζητεῖ, τὴν οἰκοδομῆν τῶν πολλῶν.

[v5a] « θέλω δὲ πάντας ὑμᾶς λαλεῖν γλῶσσαις, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε. Μείζων γὰρ ὁ προφητεύων, ἤ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσαις. »

Ἵνα μὴ νομίσωσιν ὅτι βασκαίνων αὐτοῖς καθαιρεῖ τὰς γλώσσας, διορθούμενος αὐτῶν τὴν ὑπόνοιαν, τοῦτό φησιν.

[v5b]« Ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ διερμηνεύῃ, ἵνα ἡ Ἐκκλησία οἰκοδομὴν λάβῃ. »

Ἔλαττον, φησὶ τοῦ προφητεύειν τὸ γλώσσαις λαλεῖν· εἰ μή τις ἄρα καὶ διερμηνεύῃ τὰ γλώσσας, οὐκ ἄν γένηται τοῦ προφητεύοντος ἵσος.

[v6a] « Νῦν δὲ, ἀδελφοὶ, ἐὰν ἔλθω πρὸς ὑμᾶς λαλῶν, τί ὑμᾶς ὠφελήσω ; »

Τί λέγω τοῦς ἄλλους, φησί; Κἄν γὰρ ἐγὼ αὐτὸς γλώσσαις ἔλθω λαλῶν, οὐδὲν ἔσται πλέον τοίς ἀκούουσι. Ταῦτα δὲ λέγει δεικνὺς, ὅτι τὸ ἐκείνων συμφέρον ζητεῖ, οὐ πρὸς τοὺς χάρισμα ἔχοντας ἀπεχθῶς ἔχει.

[v6b]« Ἐὰν μὴ ὑμῖν λαλήσω, ἤ ἐν ἀποκαλύψει, ἤ ἐν γνώσει, ἤ ἐν προφητείᾳ, ἤ ἐν διδαχῇ. »

Ἐὰν μἠ εἴπω, φησί, τὸ δυνάμενον ὑμῖν εὔληπτον γενέσθαι, ἀλλ’ ἐπιδείζω μόνον ὅτι γλώσσης ἔχω χάρισμα, οὐδὲν ἄν κερδήσαντες ἀπελεύσεσθε. Πῶς γὰρ ἀπὸ φωνῆς ἧς οὐ συνιεῖτε ;

[v7-9a] « Ὅμως τὰ ἄψυχα φωνὴν διδόντα, εἴτε αὐλὸς, εἴτε κιθάρα, ἐὰν διαστολὴν τοῖς φθόγγοις μὴ διδῷ, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ αὐλούμενον, ἢ τὸ κιθαριζόμενον ; καὶ γὰρ ἐὰν ἄδηλον φωνὴν σάλπιγξ δῷ, τίς παρασκευάσεται εἰς πόλεμον ; Οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς διὰ τῆς γλώσσης. »

Τί λέγω, φησὶν, ὅτι ἐφ’ ὑμῶν τὸ πρᾶγμα ἀκερδές ἐστι ; καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἀψύχων τοῦτο εἴδοί τις ἄν, καὶ ἐπὶ τὴς κιθάρας, καὶ ἐπὶ σάλπιγγος.

[v9b]« Ἑὰν μὴ εὔσημον λόγον δῶτε, πῶς γνωσθήσεται τὸ λαλούμενον. »

Ἀντὶ τοῦ, Ἐὰν μή διερμηνεύητε.

[v9c] « Ἔσεσθε γὰρ εἰς ἀέρα λαλοῦντες. »

Τουτέστιν, οὐδενὶ φθεγγόμενοι, πρὸς οὐδένα λαλοῦντες.

[v10-12a] « Τοσαῦτα εἰ τύχοι γένη φωνῶν ἐισιν ἐν κόσμῳ, καὶ οὐδὲν ἄφωνον·(1) The Byzantine/Majority text has καὶ οὐδὲν αὐτῶν ἄφωνον while the Textus Receptus has this as an optional reading, and the Tischendorf Edition agrees with John of Damascus Biblical citation. Ἐὰν οὖν μὴ εἴδω τὴν δύναμιν τῆς φωνῆς, ἔσομαι τῷ λαλοῦντι βάρβαρος, καὶ ὁ λαλῶν ἐμοὶ βάρβαρος· οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς. »

Τουτέστι, τοσαῦται γλῶσσαι, τοσαῦται φωναὶ, Σκυθῶν, Θρᾳκῶν, ῾Ρωμαίων, Περσῶν, Μαὺρων, Ἰνδῶν, Αἰγυπτίων, ἑτέρων μυρίων ἐθνῶν.

[v12b-13] « Ἐπεὶ ζηλωταί ἐστε πνευμάτων εἰς(2) The preposition: εἰς does not exist in any other popular Greek manuscript. This appears unique to John of Damascus. τὴν οἰκοδομὴν τῆς ἐκκλησίας, ζητεῖτε ἵνα περισσεύητε. Διὸ ὁ λαλῶν γλώσσῃ, προσευχέσθω, ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ. »

Εἰ ζηλοῦν δεῖ, τὰ χαρίσματα ταῦτα ζηλοῦτε, ἅ τὴν Ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδoμεῖ. Διὸ ἐπάγει λέγων, Προσευχέσθω, ἵνα διερμηνεύῃ.

[v14-15a] « Ἐὰν γὰρ εὔχωμαι(3) The verb: εὔχωμαι does not exist in any other popular Greek manuscript. This appears unique to John of Damascus. All other texts have Ἐὰν [γὰρ] προσεύχωμαι γλώσσῃ, τὸ Πνεῦμά μου προσεύχεται, ὁ δὲ νοῦς μου ἄκαρπός ἐστι. Τί οὖν ἐστι ; »

Τουτέστι, τὸ χάρισμα τὸ δοθέν μοι, καὶ κινοῦν τὴν γλῶσσαν.

[v15b-16] « Προσεύξομαι πνεύματι,(4) Προσεύξομαι τῷ πνεύματι is typically found here in all the major Greek manuscripts. προσεύξομαι καὶ τῷ νοΐ· , (5) προσεύξομαι δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ is typically found here. ψαλῶ τῷ πνεύματι, ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ. ,(6) ψαλῶ δὲ καὶ τῷ νοΐ. is typically found here. Ἐπεὶ ἐὰν εὐλογῇς πνεύματι, ὁ ἀναπληρῶν τὸν τόπον τοῦ ἰδιώτου, πῶς ἐρεῖ τὸ Ἀμὴν τῇ σῇ εὐχαριστίᾳ ; ἐπειδὴ τί λέγεις οὐκ οἶδεν ; »

Ὥσπερ τινὸς λέγοντος, Τί οὖν ἐστι τὸ διδακτικὸν, καὶ ὠφέλιμον ; Καὶ πῶς χρὴ λέγειν ; Καὶ τί χρή αἰτεῖν παρά τοῦ Θεοῦ ; Ἀποκρίνεται λέγων τὸ, καὶ τῷ πνεύματι, τουτέστι τῷ χαρίσματι καὶ τῇ διανοίᾳ προσεύχεσθαι, ἵνα καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα φθέγγηται, καὶ ὁ νοῦς μὴ ἀγνοῇ τὰ λεγόμενα. Καὶ γὰρ ἐάν μὴ τοῦτο ᾖ, καὶ ἑτέρα σύγχυσις γίνεται. Οὐ γὰρ οἴδεν ὑποφωνεῖν ὁ λαϊκός τὸ Ἀμήν· οὐκ οἶδε γὰρ τί λέγεις.

[v17] « Σὺ μὲν γὰρ καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς, ἀλλ’ ἕτερος(7) ἀλλ᾿ ὁ ἕτερος is typically found here in all the major Greek manuscripts. οὐκ οἰκοδομεῖται. »

Ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ σφόδρα ἐξευτελίζειν τὸ χάρισμα, τοῦτο φησι· τοὺτο δὲ καὶ ἀνωτέρω ἐποίησεν ὅτε ἔλεγεν, Ὁ λαλῶν μυστήριον, καὶ τῷ Θεῷ λαλεῖ, καὶ ἑαυτὸν οἰκοδομεῖ. Σὺ οὖν, φησὶ, καλῶς εὐχαριστεῖς· Πνεύματι γὰρ κινούμενος φθέγγῃ· Ἀλλ’ ἐκεῖνος οὐδὲν ἀκούων, οὐδὲ εἰδὼς τὰ λεγόμενα, ἔστηκεν, οὐ πολλὴν δεχόμενος τὴν ὠφέλειαν.

[v18-19a] « Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ μου, πάντων ὑμῶν μᾶλλον γλώσσῃ(8) The standard NT text has it in the pluralγλώσσαις. λαλῶν(9) λαλῶν agrees with Textus Receptus, and Byzantine/Majority. The UBS (3rd ed) and Tischendorf has λαλῶ .· Ἀλλ᾿ ἐν Ἐκκλησίᾳ. »

Ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ κατατρέχειν ὡς ἐστερημένος τοῦ χαρίσματος, τοῦτο φησι.

[19b] « Θέλω πέντε λόγους τῷ νοΐ μου λαλῆσαι, ἵνα καὶ ἄλλους κατηχήσω. »

Τουτέστι, νοῶν ἅ λέγω. καὶ δυνάμενος καὶ ἑτέροις ἑρμηνεῦσαι.

[v19c] « Ἤ μυρίους λόγους ἐν γλώσσῃ. »

Τοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ἐπίδειξιν ἔχει μόνην, φησί· ἐκεῖνο δὲ πολλὴν τὴν ὠφέλειαν.

[v20] « Ἀδελφοί, μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε ταῖς φρεσίν, ἀλλὰ τῇ κακίᾳ νηπιάζετε, ταῖς δὲ φρεσὶν τέλειοι γίνεσθε. »

Καὶ γὰρ τὰ παιδία πρὸς μὲν τὰ μικρὰ κέχηνεν, τῶν δὲ σφόδρα μεγάλων οὐ τοσοῦτον ἔχει θαῦμα. Ἐπεὶ οὖν καὶ οὗτοι γλωσσῶν ἔχοντες χάρισμα τὸ πᾶν ἔχειν ἐνόμιζον, ὅπερ τῶν ἄλλων ἕλαττον ἦν, διὰ τοῦτο φησι, Μὴ παιδία γίνεσθε ταῖς φρεσί· τουτέστι, μὴ ἀνόητοι, ἔνθα συνετοὺς εἶναι χρή. Ἀλλὰ ἐκεῖ νήπιοι καὶ ἀφελεῖς, ἔνθα κενοδοξία, ἔνθα φυσίωμα. Τί δὲ ἐστι νήπιον εἶναι κακίᾳ. ἤ τὸ μὴ εἰδέναι τί ποτέ ἐστι κακία ;

[v21] « Ἐν τῷ [νόμῳ] γέγραπται ὅτι ἐν ἑτερογλώσσοις, καὶ ἐν χείλεσιν ἑτέροις λαλήσω τῷ λαῷ τούτῳ, καὶ οὐδ᾿ οὕτως ἀκούσονταί(10) εἰσακούσονταί is typically found here in the majority of Greek manuscripts. μου, λέγει Κύριος. »

Νόμον ἡ θεία Γραφὴ, καὶ τοὺς προφήτας φησίν.

[v22-30a] « Ὥστε αἱ γλῶσσαι εἰς σημεῖόν εἰσιν, οὐ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῖς ἀπίστοις· ἡ δὲ προφητεία, οὐ τοῖς ἀπίστοις, ἀλλὰ τοῖς πιστεύουσιν. Ἐὰν οὖν συνέλθῃ ἡ Ἐκκλησία ὅλη ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ, καὶ πάντες γλώσσαις λαλῶσιν, εἰσέλθωσι δὲ καὶ(11) καὶ is unique to Damascus here. ἰδιῶται, ἢ ἄπιστοι, οὐκ ἐροῦσιν, ὅτι μαίνεσθε; Ἐὰν δὲ πάντες προφητεύωσιν, εἰσέλθῃ δέ τις ἄπιστος, ἢ ἰδιώτης, ἐλέγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων, ἀνακρίνεται ὑπὸ πάντων· καὶ οὕτω τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται, καὶ οὕτω πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον προσκυνήσει τῷ Θεῷ, ἀπαγγέλλων, ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ὄντως ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστι. Τί οὖν ἐστιν, ἀδελφοί; ὅταν συνέρχησθε, ἕκαστος ὑμῶν ψαλμὸν ἔχει, διδαχὴν ἔχει, γλῶσσαν ἔχει, ἀποκάλυψιν ἔχει, ἑρμηνείαν ἔχει. Πάντα πρὸς οἰκοδομὴν γενέσθω. Εἴτε γλώσσῃ τις λαλεῖ, κατὰ δύο, ἢ τὸ πλεῖστον τρεῖς, καὶ ἀνὰ μέρος, καὶ εἷς διερμηνευέτω. Ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ᾖ διερμηνευτὴς, σιγάτω ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ· ἑαυτῷ δὲ λαλείτω, καὶ τῷ Θεῷ. Προφῆται δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς λαλείτωσαν, καὶ οἱ ἄλλοι διακρινέτωσαν· ἐὰν δὲ ἄλλῳ ἀποκαλυφθῇ καθημένῳ. »

Τουτέστιν ἔκπληξιν, οὐκ εἰς κατήχησιν τοσοῦτον.

[v30b] « ὁ πρῶτος σιγάτω. »

Οὐ γὰρ ἔδει, τούτου κινηθέντος πρὸς προφητείαν, ἐκεῖνον λέγειν.

[v31] « Δύνασθε γὰρ καθ’ ἕνα πάντες προφητεύειν, ἵνα πάντες μανθάνωσι καὶ πάντες παρακαλῶνται. »

Τοῦτο φησι, τὸν ἐπιστομηθέντα παραμυθούμενος.

[v32] « Καὶ πνεύματα προφητῶν προφήταις ὑποτάσσεται »

Ἵνα μὴ φιλόνεικός τις ᾖ, ἤ βάσκανος, αὐτὸ τὸ χάρισμα δείκνυσιν ὑποτασσόμενον. Πνεῦμα γὰρ ἐνταῦθα τὴν ἐνέργειαν λέγει· εἰ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα ὑποστάσσεται, πολλῷ δ’ ἄν σύ.

[v33] « Οὐ γὰρ ἐστιν ἀκαταστασίας ὁ Θεός, ἀλλὰ εἰρήνης, ὡς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς Ἐκκλησίαις τῶν ἁγίων διατάσσομαι.(12) The verb: διατάσσομαι does not exist in any other popular Greek manuscript. This appears unique to John of Damascus. It may be a copyist error. Similar wording can be found in I Corinthians 7:17 »

Δείκνυσιν ὡς καὶ τῷ Θεῷ τοῦτο δοκεῖ, ἵνα κρῖμα ἔχων ὁ ἀντιταττόμενος, μὴ φιλονεικῇ.

The English translation can be found here: John of Damascus on Tongues: an English Translation.

References   [ + ]